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Activision Inc
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£9.99
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes

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30
Phil South
Chris Bourne

You may remember this baby from the arcades. A four-player platforms-in-space game, with lots of baddies to shoot and 99 different levels. Three men and a woman battle through wave after wave of alien henchdroids to rescue a space colony from destruction. These wacky space stompers, Lee, Joe, Mary and Edgar, must plough through each level's aliens until they reach the huge mechanical monsters. Before they can leave each level, they must destroy the monster, and take its key, then quickly hop into the exit teleport which takes them to the next level.

All around each level are things which can help you, items left by the inhabitants of the colony before they fled the alien menace - extra high jumping boots, different and more powerful ammo, jetpacks, extra energy... the list is almost endless. On each level you must be careful how you go around because on some you have to kill the monster on one end of the level, and escape through an exit which might be at the opposite end.

By far the most helpful thing on each level is the bonus ball. This bounces out of an alien door, and if you get it when it holds your initial (E, L, M or J) it will change your weapon to a stronger one. (Oo-er). If you hit it when it shows someone elses initial, it'll just give you bonus points.

One of the nicest things about this game is the teamwork aspect. (Mind you, although the original was a four-player game, this version is a two-player game, choosing your team from four choices!) You select your two players and both you and an accomplice must work together to get a higher score and destroy the mechanical monsters. The action is fast and furious, and is definitely at its best when you've got a jetpack (peeoow! zzzoomm!) and are playing the two player option. On the graphics side, the sprites are okay but not startling, but the backgrounds are stunning! Over ninety smooth-scrolling arenas, so slickly modelled you'd think you were actually there. (Eek! Sorry, I really did think I was there, for a minute!)

I found Quartet to be an adequate conversion of the arcade machine, but perhaps a teeny bit too easy. Ploughing your way through endless amounts of levels in search of number 99 can be a little trying, and I think p'raps the explosions could have been a little more satisfying (parp). But, in spite of all that I still thought it was a good old blast 'em up. If you can afford it, give it a rip!

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